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Thread started 22 Jan 2016 (Friday) 18:19
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upgrading and need help....

 
heat00
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Jan 22, 2016 18:19 |  #1

new here and I'm not a professional....I only need to shoot indoor basketball in low lighting. Unfortunately I didn't know anything when I bough the t3i body that I have and I now know that I need to upgrade. Part of the problem is I bought a sigma 70-200 2.8 which made a big difference however my pictures still struggle compared to some others I see at the same gym. I think a better body that can shoot better in low light would make a big difference however I have to stay with a body that will take my sigma, which I think is any canon.
it gets very confusing comparing differences so I'd love to hear from you all.. this is all I shoot or care about.
I see the 6d full frame and 70d and 7d mark II all look interesting. any suggestions. I see the 70d and 7d seem to have quicker performance and less shutter lag and more focus points however the 6d seems to have a much better picture quality at higher iso. I guess my question is, in the real world of shooting indoor basketball what is more important and what will yield better photos?
Or, is there a better canon out there, this all assumes not spending millions on a body.
any help is appreciated.
thanks,




  
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MalVeauX
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Jan 22, 2016 20:06 |  #2

Heya,

Well, you'll probably be shooting at 1/800s, F2.8, ISO 6400 or ISO 12,800. So any body capable of doing that (the ISO specifically) with an image you find acceptable will basically do it.

Personally, I'd shoot your T3i at ISO 12,800 in that gym just fine (this is literally no different than using a 7D for exposure purposes). You could get a new camera, and get maybe 1 stop better ISO (not even 1, just barely 1) performance. Or you could get a 6D or 5D3 and get just over 1 stop performance increase.

The reality is, your gear can do what you're wanting to achieve. You probably just are not using it in a way that is allowing that.

It would help to know what settings and everything that you're using. And post a sample image.
It would help to know your process of working out exposure in your gym's light.
It would help to know what your overall budget is.
It would help to know how you process your files (I assume you're shooting RAW, if not, start now).

Before spending money, I would focus on exposure technique and post-processing.
Shooting high ISO is a reality of indoor sports like this. Exposing for high ISO is different than what you'd do outside in the sun.
Getting exposure correct is critical for noise control at high ISO. So knowing how you achieve your exposure values each time is important.

Very best,


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heat00
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Jan 22, 2016 21:00 |  #3

thank you for the reply.

I shoot in JPEG. I don't really have the time after shooting to go an edit 500 pictures after each game, unless that is the only solution. I use 1/320 or 1/400, 2.8. ISO on Auto setting that usually seems to be at 3200 or 6400, never seen higher than that. sometimes that is a working combination however in some poorly lit gyms, the shots look grainy or noisy and a little dark.

A good friend has a nikon d4 with the same 2.8 700-200 (nikon) lens and his pictures are light years better than mine. I learned of these settings from him and so far it's given me the best results I have found. If there is enough light, pictures seem to come out ok for the most part however many times the 3.7 fps seems like not enough to get a good shot and many pictures are not in focus. I thought I had all of these settings optimally set. He also doesn't seem to have to edit anything aftewards and the pictures seem great in comparison to mine.

I'll see if I can upload an example....




  
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gonzogolf
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Jan 22, 2016 21:04 |  #4

I would start with a fast prime like the 85 1.8. The body depends on budget. A used 7D would be the cheapest route.




  
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MalVeauX
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Post edited over 3 years ago by MalVeauX. (2 edits in all)
     
Jan 22, 2016 21:13 |  #5

heat00 wrote in post #17869036 (external link)
thank you for the reply.

I shoot in JPEG. I don't really have the time after shooting to go an edit 500 pictures after each game, unless that is the only solution. I use 1/320 or 1/400, 2.8. ISO on Auto setting that usually seems to be at 3200 or 6400, never seen higher than that. sometimes that is a working combination however in some poorly lit gyms, the shots look grainy or noisy and a little dark.

A good friend has a nikon d4 with the same 2.8 700-200 (nikon) lens and his pictures are light years better than mine. I learned of these settings from him and so far it's given me the best results I have found. If there is enough light, pictures seem to come out ok for the most part however many times the 3.7 fps seems like not enough to get a good shot and many pictures are not in focus. I thought I had all of these settings optimally set. He also doesn't seem to have to edit anything aftewards and the pictures seem great in comparison to mine.

I'll see if I can upload an example....

Heya,

A newer sensor can help with dealing with higher ISO.

I wouldn't use AUTO anything. Your images are dark because they're underexposing due to not setting exposure correctly and allowing the camera meter to use AUTO ISO and under-expose your image, which kills the whites, and makes the noise look amplified. If you get exposure right, your whites will pop, and the noise will be less noticeable. Whatever meter mode you're using is influencing how AUTO ISO computes exposure, and that is clearly under-exposing your photos from your description. My suggestion here, don't use auto anything. Meter it yourself. Turn on Live View, turn on the live histogram, and point at a player with a white jersey. Set your aperture to F2.8 and shutter to whatever it takes to stop motion (if you are able to do it all at 1/400s, great, keep it there, if not, go faster, motion blur cannot be corrected in post, so stop motion with shutter). From there, crank ISO as high as it needs to be to push that histogram to the right without clipping the whites of the jerseys. Shoot in RAW. Shooting in JPG at high ISO is a big reason why you're having other issues with image quality (the JPG image of your T3i is ok, but not phenomenal, you'll get much cleaner images if you shoot RAW and make the JPG yourself later; less noise, more dynamic range and recovery which is essential to good images in poor light).

If you're under-exposing at 1/400s, F2.8 and ISO 6400, that means you are in some dark, dark light for a gym, and you need to be at ISO 12800 and probably need to be at F2 to be able to maintain 1/400s or even hope to get to 1/800s and maintain proper exposure to stop motion blur (not sure how you're doing 1/320s and 1/400s and not getting blur).

3.7FPS is a limitation, agreed there. The only way past that is a faster FPS capable camera.

You can buy a camera with better ISO performance, better JPG engine output, and faster FPS. Minimum cost here is about $1k to get it right. You still have to expose right. You can get a 1DX and under-expose and get a noisy image.

You're not going to edit all 500 images. A handful, very few, are going to be the "money" shots. Edit those. You'll have time. If you're trying to edit all 500, that speaks volumes.

If you want to spend money before nailing exposure concepts and post-processing for high ISO low light shooting, some suggestions:

1DX + 70-200 F2.8L IS II (.... had to, lol)

7D2 - 10 FPS, ISo 12,800, good engine for JPG if you refuse to shoot RAW and process your shots.
70D - 7 FPS, ISO 12,800, good engine for JPG, cheaper. Not as robust buffer, so take it easy on the continuous shooting if you spray & pray.
7D classic - 8 FPS, ISO 12,800, same ISO performance & JPG engine basically as your T3i, but you get the 8 FPS and a better buffer for continuous shooting and way better AF tracking. CHEAP.

If you can't be bothered with RAW/editing, etc. And the options are too costly. Or you get a new camera and get the same result by using it all the same, then I would consider just using a faster lens, like an F2 prime (85 F1.8, 100 F2, 135 F2, etc) to save you a stop of ISO.

Very best,


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Charlie
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Jan 22, 2016 21:13 |  #6

If you must compare to big league cameras, then get big league gear. 5D3 should be your first step, if budget permits, upgrade the sigma to the Tamron VC or canon L ii. If budget permits, 1dx.


Sony A7rii/A7riii/A9 - FE 12-24/4 - FE 24-240 - CV 21/3.5 - FE 35/2.8 - SY 35/1.4 AF - FE 50/1.8 - FE 85/1.8 - EF 135/1.8 Art - F 600/5.6 - CZ 100-300 - Astro Rok 14/2.8 - Tamron 28-75/2.8 RXD, 70-200/2.8 VC

  
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heat00
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Jan 22, 2016 21:14 |  #7

first shot is mine, second shot is his.. just seems a lot brighter, clearer, and better looking colors.
you could be right, is there something else I need to set differently? white balance and iso are set to auto, shutter 1/320 or 400, 2.8.
just seems the focus on and shooting speed on the t3i is insufficient. I cannot snap enough shots or focus shots to get really good ones with action when it's on the darker side.
thought a better body might fix this...


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heat00
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Jan 22, 2016 21:15 |  #8

Charlie wrote in post #17869050 (external link)
If you must compare to big league cameras, then get big league gear. 5D3 should be your first step, if budget permits, upgrade the sigma to the Tamron VC or canon L ii. If budget permits, 1dx.


thats tough, there is a budget and just got the sigma lol.... will be tough to scrap everything... thought the lens would be fine...




  
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Charlie
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Jan 22, 2016 21:18 as a reply to  @ MalVeauX's post |  #9

He may need to distribute images right after game/too much volume, JPEG might make sense.

1dx using shutter priority will likely be considerably better than a t3i in any form.


Sony A7rii/A7riii/A9 - FE 12-24/4 - FE 24-240 - CV 21/3.5 - FE 35/2.8 - SY 35/1.4 AF - FE 50/1.8 - FE 85/1.8 - EF 135/1.8 Art - F 600/5.6 - CZ 100-300 - Astro Rok 14/2.8 - Tamron 28-75/2.8 RXD, 70-200/2.8 VC

  
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Charlie
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Jan 22, 2016 21:21 as a reply to  @ heat00's post |  #10

Your under exposed, set your camera full manual, and paste his settings. Alternatively EC +2/3. The D4 will be MUCH cleaner and sharper.


Sony A7rii/A7riii/A9 - FE 12-24/4 - FE 24-240 - CV 21/3.5 - FE 35/2.8 - SY 35/1.4 AF - FE 50/1.8 - FE 85/1.8 - EF 135/1.8 Art - F 600/5.6 - CZ 100-300 - Astro Rok 14/2.8 - Tamron 28-75/2.8 RXD, 70-200/2.8 VC

  
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MalVeauX
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Post edited over 3 years ago by MalVeauX. (3 edits in all)
     
Jan 22, 2016 21:23 |  #11

heat00 wrote in post #17869052 (external link)
first shot is mine, second shot is his.. just seems a lot brighter, clearer, and better looking colors.
you could be right, is there something else I need to set differently? white balance and iso are set to auto, shutter 1/320 or 400, 2.8.
just seems the focus on and shooting speed on the t3i is insufficient. I cannot snap enough shots or focus shots to get really good ones with action when it's on the darker side.
thought a better body might fix this...

Heya,

The only difference is his shot is exposed better. But he still didn't stop motion or anything and his is out of focus. You can do the same image, better even, from your T3i without breaking a sweat. ISO 3200 is not a problem. Your image is under-exposed due to the meter method and letting it work on auto. Had you been shooting at 1/400s and ISO 6400, that image would have been totally fine, clean and bright.

By the way, your image is in focus (see the jersey, totally in focus). The blur is due to motion and too slow of a shutter speed. Your'e in focus just fine. You're just too slow on the shutter to stop motion and under-exposed.

I do agree though that a better AF engine and faster FPS will contribute to a higher "money shot" rate (a used 7D will do this for $450).

If you had metered and not used his settings, and used proper exposure from metering, you'd have nailed it and you wouldn't need to spend any money. :)

A better body with help with the focusing. The metering and exposure isn't going to be vastly different depending on how you use it. A newer, better sensor and JPG engine can help. But it seems to me that you need more than that, you need a new process for determining exposure (ie, don't use your friend's settings).

It would be a lot more useful in the long run to develop a new process for yourself:

1. Show up, meter the gym. Determine exposure settings needed based on stopping motion and getting correct exposure. You do this by looking at your histogram and metering the players (or people in general) in the light that is present when you're shooting. If you expose to the right a little, and avoid blowing highlights, but expose up, you will get better images that are brighter, correctly exposed, and a lot cleaner looking regardless of using higher ISO values.
2. Those settings dialed in may not be the same at both ends of the court. So have those values ready. You may need two values that you can quickly swap between from one basket to another. If that's too complicated, just stick to something that is an average of the two.
3. Shoot full manual, don't let the meter choose for you.
4. Custom white balance if you want it to look right as a JPG right away. Take a grey card with you. Simple fix there.

That will help you more than buying a new camera ever will.

Very best,


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MalVeauX
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Post edited over 3 years ago by MalVeauX. (3 edits in all)
     
Jan 22, 2016 21:44 |  #12

Charlie wrote in post #17869061 (external link)
He may need to distribute images right after game/too much volume, JPEG might make sense.

1dx using shutter priority will likely be considerably better than a t3i in any form.

Realistically, 500 images for youth basketball, let alone NBA, per game, that are edited & used right away? I don't think so. :)

As for the 1DX comment, put it into context, he could have had that camera and used the same settings and got the same under-exposed image with the same motion blur. The 1DX doesn't solve it. His use of the camera solves 99% of the issue he's having (ie, why he shot at those settings with whatever metering method that was used; instead of using a process to get proper exposure and not just using settings he was told by someone else instead of metering it himself and getting it right himself and learning the process & skill to do it and improving, without buying something to think it will do that for him).

Very best,


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heat00
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Jan 22, 2016 22:13 |  #13

thank you all. This is great info. the 500 shot comment is really for the whole day which usually consists of 3 games and I try to shoot all the kids since I'm the only one there with a camera.
That being said, I am in no way a knowledgable photographer and I don't really know how to even set the exposure etc. I'll read the manual again and try to figure it out.
I guess the good news is that maybe my equipment is sufficient and I just need to somehow learn how to use it better :)
I really don't understand how to fix the exposure, hopefully I can figure it out. At first I was scared of manual settings and I'm now seeing that there is no other way to do it. Guess I have some of the settings and info I need in regards to sutter speed and 2.8, and to some degree ISO, just need the exposure part figured out.

so you are saying ISO auto and at 3200 and 6400 should be no problem if exposed correctly?




  
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Jan 22, 2016 22:13 |  #14

MalVeauX wrote in post #17869070 (external link)
Heya,

The only difference is his shot is exposed better. But he still didn't stop motion or anything and his is out of focus. You can do the same image, better even, from your T3i without breaking a sweat. ISO 3200 is not a problem. Your image is under-exposed due to the meter method and letting it work on auto. Had you been shooting at 1/400s and ISO 6400, that image would have been totally fine, clean and bright.

By the way, your image is in focus (see the jersey, totally in focus). The blur is due to motion and too slow of a shutter speed. Your'e in focus just fine. You're just too slow on the shutter to stop motion and under-exposed.

I do agree though that a better AF engine and faster FPS will contribute to a higher "money shot" rate (a used 7D will do this for $450).

If you had metered and not used his settings, and used proper exposure from metering, you'd have nailed it and you wouldn't need to spend any money. :)

A better body with help with the focusing. The metering and exposure isn't going to be vastly different depending on how you use it. A newer, better sensor and JPG engine can help. But it seems to me that you need more than that, you need a new process for determining exposure (ie, don't use your friend's settings).

It would be a lot more useful in the long run to develop a new process for yourself:

1. Show up, meter the gym. Determine exposure settings needed based on stopping motion and getting correct exposure. You do this by looking at your histogram and metering the players (or people in general) in the light that is present when you're shooting. If you expose to the right a little, and avoid blowing highlights, but expose up, you will get better images that are brighter, correctly exposed, and a lot cleaner looking regardless of using higher ISO values.
2. Those settings dialed in may not be the same at both ends of the court. So have those values ready. You may need two values that you can quickly swap between from one basket to another. If that's too complicated, just stick to something that is an average of the two.
3. Shoot full manual, don't let the meter choose for you.
4. Custom white balance if you want it to look right as a JPG right away. Take a grey card with you. Simple fix there.

That will help you more than buying a new camera ever will.

Very best,


Hi OP

MalveauX's advice is spot on

I had the T3i (600D), it is a perfectly OK camera and will provide a good platform for you to learn on. (Check out some of the images on the T3i user thread)

Follow Malveaux's advice regarding exposure, and take it from there, a so called "better" camera will not give you any improvement until you master this

Another thought, shooting fast moving action sports like basketball is not easy in the beginning ( I have taken more than enough crappy shots to know this LOL).

AI Servo and BBF will help, as will plenty of practice

Good luck




  
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Alveric
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Jan 22, 2016 22:24 |  #15

heat00, do yourself a favour and buy or sign off your local public library this material: http://www.amazon.com …TF8&qid=1453522​448&sr=1-2 (external link)

Auto settings are killing your images. You need to know how to make a proper exposure before anything else. A new camera will not help you: cranking the ISO to insane high values will not yield better results: your images will still be underexposed and, in spite of the 'improved' performance of a newer sensor, noisy. Noisy because of the underexposure.

Practice how to expose and you'd be likely to get good images of the games even at low ISO values with your current camera.

Your point of not running 500+ images through a RAW processor is valid, but keep in mind that JPG mode is more unforgiving to poor exposure choices. With a RAW file you have more latitude to fix things, but with a lossy JPEG you do not.


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